Getting Organized – Creating Equestrian Trail Organizations

Prepared by Mary A. Hanson and Kandee Haertel

The future ability of people to enjoy and keep horses in open spaces will hinge largely on the efforts of today's equestrian users. What is the alternative? Loss of trails for equestrians. Now is the time to get organized!

by Equine Land Conservation Resource

The crisis of diminishing access to land and trails can be lessened by equestrian trails advocacy groups. They empower and coordinate individuals to take action and make their united voices heard.

These groups are by nature grassroots and distinct, offering a means for preserving and creating equestrian trails where no one else would be concerned. Who better understands the issues and reaps the benefits than the direct user group? Their power lies in the simplicity and integrity of their mission, their passion for their endeavors, and their clear vision of the task before them. Their power is in being practical and focused, growing to become a strong, effective organization.

Equestrian trails groups can seek funding, engage partners, educate landowners and other trail users, raise public awareness, and provide support, both physical and political.

Using these guidelines is one part of a major endeavor to become successful. The other ingredients include a wide-reaching vision, cooperation, political savvy, and just sheer luck. Remembering there will be setbacks to deal with and brick walls to knock down will keep the group ready to face whatever comes along. One or a few people can start, but it will take a cooperative effort to accomplish the goal to assure horse trails in the future.

About the Author

The Equestrian Land Conservation Resource (ELCR) is a national, not for profit organization whose mission is to advance the conservation of land for horse-related activity.

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